Definition of vocalize in US English:


(British vocalise)


[with object]
  • 1Utter (a sound or word)

    ‘the child vocalizes a number of distinct sounds’
    no object ‘a warbler vocalized from a reed bed’
    • ‘She thought, pleading desperately, trying to vocalize the words but not knowing if they were actually leaving her mouth or if they were trapped in her head.’
    • ‘She alters the sound of her voice at critical points and vocalizes nonverbal sounds to convey her message.’
    • ‘As a result of the straining of her vocal cords during her crisis, Fe is left with a speech impediment whereby she cannot vocalize every word in a sentence.’
    • ‘At times, she vocalizes sounds, trying in her best way to speak.’
    • ‘Every word is sung with such involvement, it sounds like someone is vocalizing the words of their dying father's will.’
    • ‘Most sound effects men had to be able to vocalise impressions of a wide range of animals.’
    • ‘But when I speak, I choose words and vocalize them in time: these differences make every phase of speech unreliable.’
    • ‘Frederick could no longer vocalize words, and he could write no better.’
    vocalized, voiced, spoken, said, uttered, expressed, articulated, oral, by mouth
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    1. 1.1 Express (something) with words.
      ‘Gillie could scarcely vocalize her responses’
      • ‘Warrenpoint community needs to vocalise its hopes and expectations and make its voice heard.’
      • ‘Even when used in a statement so imprecise as the one he had just vocalized, it sounded as though Seth had it all planned out anyway.’
      • ‘Not only did he facilitate discussion with the committee, but he also vocalized his support to the voting schools.’
      • ‘Later, as young men and women vocalized forceful opposition to the war, their music reflected that protest.’
      • ‘Maybe they weren't vocalizing it, but James and John were only saying aloud what each of them probably coveted for themselves as well.’
      • ‘When I had not spoken a word for a while, she vocalized her worries.’
      • ‘Every day, more of us gain access to and take advantage of the empowerment that comes with being able to not just vocalize our ideas, but also to write them down and transmit them.’
      • ‘They never vocalized their distaste, but when Aaron worked for hours on end on school projects only to earn a C grade, he knew something was going on.’
      • ‘People with a history of involvement in anti-war movements, trade unionists and those of us who are fed up with claims about the ‘liberation’ of the gay community vocalised their opinions.’
      • ‘It might feel a little odd at first, but vocalizing encouragement will help each of you push your limits in every session.’
      • ‘She nodded, too embarrassed to vocalize her response.’
      • ‘I will also admonish other team players for vocalizing their opinions.’
      • ‘‘I was lucky to get off the hook, so I don't think stealing will work for me,’ says Matthias, vocalizing his thoughts.’
      • ‘The mentor relates the sense of fulfillment from working in public service (adding that thanks is rarely vocalized, and is communicated least when the responsibility is greatest).’
      • ‘Here he appears to have been caught off guard by the question, rambling a bit as he seeks to vocalize a responsive answer.’
      • ‘Max folded his arms across his chest and vocalized his annoyance.’
      • ‘Bob Dylan's words echo for a new generation vocalising their dissent, questioning the system, in a million ways today.’
      express, give expression to, give voice to, put in words, give utterance to, communicate, declare, state, set forth, bring into the open, make public, assert, divulge, reveal, proclaim, announce, raise, table, air, ventilate, vent, give vent to, pour out, mention, talk of, point out, go into
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    2. 1.2Music no object Sing with several notes to one vowel.
  • 2Phonetics
    Change (a consonant) to a semivowel or vowel.

    • ‘The system was a spoken one in the sense that consonants and vowels which are not vocalised have no numerical value.’
    • ‘This leaves a good deal of room for scribal error and for different ways of vocalizing the consonants and indeed for regrouping consonants to give quite different words.’
  • 3Write (a language such as Hebrew) with vowel points.

    • ‘In the daily priestly blessing, the Tetragrammaton was vocalized with the vowel points associated with the name Adonai.’
    • ‘The Tetragrammaton, the four-letter name of God - which is too holy to be vocalized today as it is written - represents God's unity and His trait of mercy.’